Aerospace and defence firms were flying high after positive comments on the sector from CitiGroup helped them lead the Footsie to its eighth straight day of gains.
The broker highlighted the prospects of the civil aircraft industry and added that the partial US debt agreement should remove some uncertainty from military-related stocks. Babcock International and Rolls Royce were each up almost 3 per cent, at 1,242p and 1,123p respectively.
The wider FTSE 100 also enjoyed a positive session, up 31.62 points at 6,654.2 as traders looked forward to a return of US economic data this week.
William Nicholls, dealer at Capital Spreads, said: “Previously, investors ran a mile from positive economic data fearing a sooner than planned reduction of stimulus, but now we should be back to data and earnings driven markets, and what better way to kick us off than non-farm payrolls?”
Outsourcing firm G4S was among the steepest climbers in the top flight on speculation that private equity firm Charterhouse has been looking to finance a bid for the beleaguered company’s cash solutions business, which manages ATMs as well as transporting cash. The possibility of a £1 billion offer provided some spark for the company’s struggling share price, which climbed 3.5 per cent or 8.5p to 250.5p.
But Royal Bank of Scotland weighed on the blue-chip index as warnings over the possibility of radical change at the lender spooked minority investors. The shares slumped 5.3 per cent to 353.1p following comments made over the weekend by Chancellor George Osborne.
Sentiment in the banking sector was also hurt by reports that JPMorgan Chase has reached an £8bn deal with US authorities to settle a series of civil probes over sales of mortgage-backed bonds in the run-up to the financial crisis. Barclays fell 3.1p to 274.8p.